Burundi’s Minister of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, Hon. Deo Guide Rurema has today August 11, 2018 addressed journalists ahead of the 26th annual Nile Council of Ministers meeting. He said the objective of the meeting is to deliberate on the status of the Nile cooperation and provide strategic guidance on how to move it forward.
The Minister noted that “Burundi stands to gain by working together with the rest of the Nile Basin countries and already we are seeing the fruits of this cooperation”. He highlighted the 80 MW Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric project, which will provide an additional 27 MW of renewable hydroelectric power to Burundi. “This will increase the access rates by 5.4% (520,000 people) from the estimated access rate of only 10 percent at present”, the Minister added.
Hon. Rurema said that Burundi has been part of Nile cooperation since 1967. He said this is natural because about 49.39 percent of the total country area falls in the Nile Basin and 58.8 percent of its population lives within the Basin. He particularly mentioned the Hydromet project (1967-1992), followed by UNDUGU (1983-1992), before joining the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) in 1999. “Burundi also signed the Cooperative Framework Agreement on 28th February 2011”, he added.
The 26th annual Nile Council of Ministers meeting is expected to be attended by Ministers in charge of Water Affairs in the 10 NBI Member States, namely Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Others are Members of the Nile Technical Advisory Committee, Management staff of NBI as well as representatives of development partners and civil society.